National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) Weekly Briefing


CCENDU x NDEWS Drug Alert: Xylazine

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) in partnership with the Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use, (CCENDU) and in collaboration with the National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS), published an alert on xylazine yesterday. This report includes a description of xylazine, reports from CCENDU, coinciding trends, a web monitoring alert from NDEWS, and implications and recommendations. View the full report here


Fentanyl overdose deaths reported in Gadsden County, Florida

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) posted a statement to social media on July 2 about a potential mass fentanyl poisoning event in Gadsden County. On July 3, the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office released an alert concerning the area's drug supply. Read the news article here, and the DEA's Twitter post about the event here.

DEA announcement of hearing regarding placement of 4-OH-DiPT, 5-MeO-AMT, 5-MeO-MiPT, 5-MeO-DET, and DiPT into Schedule I

Earlier this week, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that they will hold a hearing on August 22, 2022 with respect to the proposed placement of five tryptamine hallucinogens into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. This hearing is in response to the nearly 600 comments which the Notice of Proposed Rule Making received during the public comment period. Read the full announcement here.


At-a-glance: Newly reported psychoactive substances in Canada 2020-2021

Last week, the Government of Canada published a report describing the new psychoactive substances which have emerged in Canada since 2020. In total, 42 new psychoactive substances were detected in Canada between January 2020 and December 2021, including 11 new opioids, nine new hallucinogens, five new stimulants, and four new depressants. Among new opioids, nitazenes (etodesnitazene, metonitazene, and protonitazene) were most frequently detected. Read the full report here.


Opioid overdoses increase at home during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order period in Cook County, Illinois

A new study examined whether a stay-at-home order during the early COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a higher likelihood of opioid- and stimulant-involved deaths occurring in homes located in Cook County, Illinois. Results showed that the likelihood of a death occurring at home, especially for people using opioids, increased during the stay-at-home order period, and the authors note that these findings could have implications for reducing overdose risks during social isolation. Read the full study here

Implementing drug checking as an illicit drug market intervention within the supply chain in a Canadian setting

A qualitative study published in Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy described how interviews to explore drug checking as a market intervention had a role in supporting a safer supply within the overdose crisis. Read the full study here.

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